Winner announced at ceremony on September 13 at London’s Grand Connaught Rooms

A new award is being unveiled at the 2018 Gramophone Classical Music Awards to recognise the excellence of an ensemble. The Orchestra of the Year Award will be voted on by Gramophone’s readers and visitors to its website based on a short list drawn up by Gramophone’s editors. The Gramophone Classical Music Awards celebrate the most outstanding recordings of the past year, and this new Award gives listeners the opportunity to vote for an orchestra that they believe has made an exceptional contribution to recorded music this year.

Eight ensembles, including symphony orchestras and period-instrument groups, have been selected based on their outstanding work on record during the 12-month voting period (June 2017 to May 2018). The orchestras that have been nominated are:
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
London Symphony Orchestra
Il Pomo d’Oro
Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Les Siècles
Vienna Symphony Orchestra

Each ensemble will be supported by two or three recordings each, and voters can listen to specially-curated playlists on Spotify, Apple Music and Qobuz featuring these recordings, giving voters the opportunity to hear these incredible ensembles alongside one another. Voters can search for ‘Orchestra2018’ in each of the above streaming services to find Gramophone’s ‘Orchestra of the Year’ playlists.

Gramophone’s Editor in Chief, James Jolly, commented: ‘in an age when streaming services offer such a wealth of recorded music, people can listen to the world’s great ensembles at work at the touch of a screen. Our list turns the focus on eight ensembles who have enriched the record catalogue this past year, and we hope this new award will help celebrate their extraordinary work.’

Voting opens with the publication of the July issue of Gramophone on June 15 and remains open until July 31. Votes can be made at

The winner of the Orchestra of the Year Award will be announced at the awards ceremony on September 13 in London’s glamorous Grand Connaught Rooms, alongside other special awards such as Artist of the Year, Young Artist of the Year and the coveted Recording of the Year. The Orchestra of the Year Award is the only one decided by public vote.

The shortlist of 60 recordings nominated in the ten categories – Chamber, Choral, Contemporary, Concerto, Early Music, Instrumental, Opera, Orchestral, Recital, and Solo Vocal – of the 2018 Gramophone Classical Music Awards will be revealed in a special Gramophone digimag on August 1, with the top three in each category unveiled in Gramophone’s September issue, and winners of these categories will be announced online on August 31. One of these recordings will then go on to be named Recording of the Year.


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